Boston, MA – Boston PD performed a controlled explosion at a University of Massachusettes parking lot, where the city held a household hazardous waste drop-off.
Fire officials say Clean Harbors was collecting various items from the public when they noticed some chemicals that required immediate attention. The crew running the drop-off placed the 5 bottles in a bucket and called 911.
According to fire officials, they found nitrocellulose, ether and 25 grams of picric acid, an explosive material normally found in laboratories, dropped off by the family of a retired doctor. The material is considered unstable, and with age, crystallizes.
The bomb squad placed the bucket in one of the dumpsters and set off a controlled explosion. Fire officials added that the bottles were found outside – normally, safe disposal of picric acid can take several days inside labs.
No injuries were reported. The city of Boston has held this hazardous drop-off for 20 years and this is the first incident that caused such a response.